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Moyer and Perry

Diana Moyer with Perry, who is nine months old in this photo. She said she rarely receives negative responses about her kangaroos or other animals. Usually people want to pet the animals and they have plenty of questions for her. 

Owning a kangaroo is a commitment, but owning five of them along with sheep, goats, emu, seven white tail deer, horses, ducks, geese, chickens, a dog and peacocks is a labor of love.

It’s a commitment that Diana Moyer, who lives near Columbus on a 70-acre farm, loves every second of, especially with her kangaroos. She has owned seven kangaroos over eight years.

“They are one of the most loving, trustworthy animals that I have ever had,” she said.

Moyer recently was asked to leave a Beaver Dam McDonald’s after a customer complained that the baby Kangaroo — which is eight-months-old and named Jimmy — was not appropriate or safe to have in the restaurant.

She said she has been visiting the McDonald’s at 840 Park Ave. for three months with Jimmy and no one has ever complained. In fact, she said she takes Jimmy everywhere, including her church — Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Beaver Dam — and to the east side of Madison. Recently she and Jimmy drove to Eastgate Cinema in Madison to watch Taken 3.

“I wish the person in McDonald’s would have just come and talked to me instead,” she said.

According to Moyer, Jimmy is quite popular. She said when she takes him out in public people ask to pet Jimmy and they have a lot of questions.

She describes Jimmy as a support or therapy animal. According to her, a support animal is similar to a service animal, but a support animal does not have a specific task. She didn’t want to go into detail, but she said she is disabled and visits a doctor in Madison who approved of the use of a support/therapy animal. She declined to share the doctor’s name.

Jimmy is the youngest of her current five kangaroos. There are also Perry, 2, Anna, 3, Ruby, 5, and Charles, 7. Ruby and Charles are the mother and father of Perry and Anna.

Moyer transported the kangaroos to Wisconsin after purchasing them from a livestock market called Lolli Bros. in Missouri. She purchased her kangaroos as babies and said a female kangaroo costs $1,000 and a male kangaroo costs $2,000. The Lolli Bros. website lists “alternative livestock” such as elk, llamas, camels, zebra, bison and many other animals.

According to Moyer, kangaroos can live for 20 years in captivity and they usually stop growing when they are 5 years old.

Moyer has been training and caring for all of her kangaroos as well as the rest of the animals for the 23 years she has lived on the farm. She lives with her mother and her husband, Larry. She said Larry helps a lot too and loves doing it.

She said Terry Crandall, who went by the name “Spiderman” helped feed and care for the animals for more than seven years until he passed away in October.

Moyer’s farm is licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to house all of her animals. She paid $200 for the license and then her farm was inspected to make sure it was suitable for kangaroos, as well as the other animals.

“They mostly [inspect] the health,” she said. “The animals need to be taken care of right.”

Because of the white tail deer she owns, she works with the Department of Natural Resources as well to keep her farm up-to-par.

She added that USDA inspectors can arrive without notice and perform an inspection, but she hasn’t seen them in awhile.

“I haven’t seen them in five years,” she said. “They could show up tomorrow. It’s just one of those things.”

She’s confident she would pass an inspection if they were to arrive today.

The kangaroos need to have a six-foot high fences that are three feet apart. Currently the kangaroos live in a barn to stay warm.

Keeping the kangaroos fed is a costly endeavor. Moyer said the milk is imported from Australia and sent to Colorado. It costs her $200 a month for milk and the food is made in Missouri. She usually orders three bags and treats, which costs about $150 a month.

“They love sweet potatoes, too,” she said.

The price per month varies, as the kangaroos will go on “eating sprees” that rack up costs.

Moyer said she rarely receives negative responses about her kangaroos or other animals.

But, why kangaroos? Well, Moyer said, “it just happened.” And after owning and caring for animals for more than 27 years she said she doesn’t want to give it up and hopes to own more in the future.

(5) comments

Oliversmomrn

Do you know what her issues are that you assume that she would need a TRAINED adult, or are you just guessing? How about if you leave the judgment calls to TRAINED professionals. Obviously this will be taken care of now by people who will follow the right guidelines and learn the whole story instead of making snap decisions based on what "small" minded people know.

wiponygirl

what I see on facebook there should be a visit from the dnr the dept. of ag and maybe the local humane officer? An alligator got loose from her place years ago and nothing was done? A zebra was mauled to death and nothing was done? She has tons of animals out there and by the looks of her place from 151 the fencing is bad and she lives on a busy highway. She travels around admitting she has some issues that require a service animal? A kangaroo is not a service animal if that were true instead of traveling around with a baby K she would be traveling with the full grown TRAINED adult..................COME on fellow citizens this was a wake up call from St. Francis to go out there and make sure his animals are cared for

Wislady1

A "Therapy" animal does not have public access rights, as a Service Animals does. Perhaps she just does not realize that. She could find out very quickly by calling the USDOJ, or by going online.

Wislady1

The City of Beaver Dam prohibits having a kangaroo in the city limits, according to their Ordinances.
Sec. 10-4. - Certain creatures forbidden.
Wild animals means any of the following animals, whether bred in the wild or in captivity, and also any of their hybrids with domestic species. The animals listed in parentheses are intended to act as examples and are not to be construed as an exhaustive list or limit the generality of each group of animals, unless otherwise specified.

(a)
Nonhuman primates and prosimians (chimpanzees, monkeys);
(b)
Felids, except domesticated cats;
(c)
Canids (wolf, coyotes, foxes) except domesticated dogs;
(d)
Prairie dogs;
(e)
Elephants;
(f)
Cocodilians (alligators, crocodiles);
(g)
Marsupials (kangaroos, opossums);
(h)
Ungulates (hippopotamus, rhinoceros);
(i)
Hyenas;
(j)
Mustelids (skunks, otters, badgers) except ferrets;
(k)
Procyonids (raccoons, coatis);
(l)
Dasypodidae (anteaters, sloth, armadillos);
(m)
Viverrids (mongooses, civets, genets);
(n)
Reptilia over ten feet in length (boa constrictors, pythons);
(o)
Venomous reptilia.
(2)
Intent and purpose with regard to wild animals. The common council of the City of Beaver Dam hereby finds that wild animals are inherently dangerous and do not adjust well to captive environment. It is the intent of the common council to protect the public against health and safety risks that wild animals pose and hereby prohibit the possession of wild animals within the City of Beaver Dam.

kumquat

In 2010 the Justice Department limited public access service animals to dogs and mini horses. A service animal must meet several standards for behavior un pubkic and must perform an active task. People were starting to bring pythons, pigs and llamas into stores and restaurants claiming they were service animals. Public started complaining so the definition was tightened.

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